Choose New Jersey, the marketing arm of Gov. Chris Christie‘s three-part economic development group, took on its first independent space in Princeton after increasing its staff and expanding its strategic plan to bring more businesses to the state.
The nonprofit moved out of its temporary space offered by Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., in Princeton, after Choose New Jersey grew its full-time staff from one to six people last year, its president and CEO Tracye McDaniel said. Choose New Jersey hosted an open house Wednesday at its new office.
“We’re off to a great start, and now that we have a home and a brand, we’re planning to attend more trade shows and invite more companies to site visits,” McDaniel said.
In 2010, Christie established the group Partnership for Action, made up of the Economic Development Authority, the Business Action Center and Choose New Jersey, to consolidate all state economic development activities under Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. According to McDaniel, it is Choose New Jersey’s job to market what the state has to offer to businesses, in order to fill the pipeline of development projects and create and retain jobs in the state.
Since last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association March Madness Sweet 16 tournament in Newark, Choose New Jersey has held 53 site consultant meetings and seven site visits, generating more than 650 leads and prospects, and directly assisting five partnership wins with Allergan, BioTrial, Ferring Parmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals and Pearson Inc., according to a report presented to the organization’s board of directors last month.
With its new space and larger staff, Choose New Jersey will create an integrated plan to involve more members of the commercial real estate community in researching and marketing existing sites and facilities, McDaniel said.
“Choose N.J. is now a vision that’s realized,” McDaniel said. “This new space will be a showcase to display our assets.”